Well, here we are 6 years later and I've 'met' online a descendent of Lee/Levi Topping. She found me through this note and we've worked on 'connecting the dots' from what each of us knows. We now know that Lona was really Salona and just about a month ago we found out that there was another daughter - Arianna!
So the list goes: Benjamin b. 1843 Arianna b. 1845 Salona b. 1848 Mary and Lee/Levi b. 1849 Harrison b. 1850 John D. 'Tiger John' b. 1856 Georgia b. 1860 Nancy b. 1861 (after John died)
John only names Benjamin, John, Georgia in his will, but I know that Nancy shared based on court records.
In the 1850 Wayne Co VA Census I find John and Sarah and their 2 children PLUS Benjamin Topin living together. Also find Matilda Keys living with her brother Harrison Adkins. She has Lee and Mary Keys, age 1 and Harrison Keys 2 months old.
Matilda was an ADKINS by birth and was the daughter of Isom and Mary 'Polly' Miller ADKINS.
Arianna and Salona were raised by 2 different families in Cabell Co., VA/WV. Arianna m. Joseph Stephenson (June 3, 1872 in Cabell Co) and remained in Cabell Co. her entire life.
1850 Cabell Co., VA Census: Living with the Edward Elmore family as Arianna Topping, age 5
1860/1870 Cabell Co., VA Census: Still living with the Edward Elmore family but now Arianna Blankenship
Salona m. John Carroll and John Simpson and died in Pontiac, Livingston Co., IL.
1850 Cabell Co., VA Census: Living with the Adam Seamonds family, age 3 Salona Key
1860 Cabell Co., VA Census: living with the William Burks family as Salome Blankenship
and can't find Salona in 1870 althought the Wm. Burks family had moved out to Wayne Co., WV
Lee and Mary were raised by a Levi Hatten and his 1st wife, Louisa. (They were with them in the 1860 & 1870 Wayne Co Census) Levi Hatten named Mary Hatten (formerly Topins) in his will. She married his nephew William Henry Hatten and they lived in Cabell Co. also.
Lee m. Abigail Alley from Boyd Co., KY and they were in WV in the 1880 Census. They later moved out to Chenoa, McLean Co., IL for the remainder of their lives. Their children eventually ended up out in Oregon.
Salona 'Lona' also lived in Chenoa with both of her husbands. We're not sure who moved out to Illinois first or where Lona met John Carrol. They had a daughter but I can't make out her name in the 1900 Census. The daughter was born in 1884.
(Notice that Arianna uses the name of Topping in 1850 just like Benjamin; while Salona uses Key like Matilda, the twins and Harrison. BUT BY 1860 the 3 - Benjamin, Arianna and Salona are all now Blankenships!!)
We never find Harrison again after the 1850 Wayne Co. VA census.
Also, when Lee and Mary get married to their respective spouses, they are no longers KEYS but they both take the last name of Topping/Toppings!!
If any of this sounds familiar to you or you think we might be related please contact me.
The names that we can associate with these various families are: